BOMA San Francisco

When the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco (BOMA SF) decided to offer Attainium’s "The Disaster Experience" simulation as part of its annual professional development program, the only question they had was a financial one. “Because the Attainium program came very highly recommended to us by the BOMA NY organization,” said Tory Brubaker, Member Services Director for BOMA SF, “we knew it would provide value to our members. Our only concern was whether we could generate enough revenue to cover the cost of doing it and meet our revenue goals.

“It was a huge success financially. Sponsorships covered most of our costs,” she said, “and we actually had more attendees than we had budgeted – 162 compared to our estimated 100 to 120.”  According to Brubaker, they sold the four sponsorships they needed almost immediately, probably due to the timeliness of the topic, and the sponsors were all very happy with the outcome. “The Disaster Experience was a very positive experience for the association, the attendees, and the sponsors,” said Brubaker.

Training Goals
BOMA SF members manage 260 properties in downtown San Francisco and are responsible for the safety of thousands of tenants in those buildings. From a training perspective, Brubaker said that BOMA SF wanted people to walk away with a strong sense of what they needed to know to serve their tenants in the event of any disaster or disruption. “We had done seminars on similar topics,” she said, “but nothing as extensive or interactive as The Disaster Experience. Attainium customized the content to our industry and took a team approach to the training that we really liked.”

“The simulation was designed to allow BOMA SF members to test, evaluate, and validate the response procedures they already had in place. The format encouraged interaction and helped participants assess the effectiveness of their plans and find where the holes were if any,” said Bob Mellinger, Attainium Corp’s president. “The exercise tests their ability to respond under stress, to communicate effectively, to think on their feet, and to make immediate decisions that could impact life and safety. “

Joe Chiamparino, Director of Security & Safety for Boston Properties, a real estate investment trust company, is responsible for six buildings on 8 acres and 14,000 people at the Embarcadero Center. “I enjoyed the training, and I didn’t expect to,” Chiamparino said. “It was challenging enough to engage everyone’s interest and test our mettle. For me, it mainly validated the things we’re doing.

“Like life, there were no right or wrong answers,” said Chiamparino, who is a former policeman. “All the events used in the simulation were in the realm of possibility.”  He liked the format and how it unfolded, saying that “Attainium did a good job of laying the groundwork for what was going to occur and explaining the process.”

Attainium observes the entire exercise then conducts a debriefing session for the attendees. “This is where some of the most valuable insights occur as participants discuss and assess what happened,” Mellinger said. “They take away a sense of how well prepared they are, the satisfaction of knowing they could survive an incident, and knowledge of the things they need to rethink.”

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